Gabe Evans said he’s taking five oaths in his life, and he’s ready for another, working for the people of Weld and Adams Counties.
“I’ve worked at the Colorado State Capitol as a legislative aide, and I understand the legislative process. I have extensive experiences to continue effectively serving the citizens of Weld and Adams Counties,” said Evans. I live on a small farm between Brighton and Fort Lupton, I’m a small business owner, raise beef cattle, poultry, and grow variety of fruit and berries from an orchard I planted.”
Evans and Terry Degroot are running for the GOP nomination to fill the Colorado House District 48 seat held by Tonya Van Beber, who is seeking the GOP nomination for the Colorado State Senate in District 1.
Evans said he took his first oath when joining the Virginia Army National Guard in 2007, serving two years. Then in 2009, he took his second oath and was commissioned as 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and also in 2009 took his third oath joining the Colorado National Guard for ten years. During this time, he earned his wings to fly the UH60 Black Hawk helicopter.
“I was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2012 to 2013 and promoted twice, achieving the rank of captain,” said Evans.
When Evans returned to Colorado he was deployed to the Rocky Mountains to fight wildfires multiple times and also was in charge of coordinating search and rescue operations.
“After serving as the commanding officer of A-2-135th General Support Aviation Battalion based at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, I decided I needed to spend more time with my wife and two boys. I was honorably discharged in 2019,” said Evans.
While serving in Colorado Army National Guard in 2011 Evans took his fourth oath and became a police officer with the Arvada Police Department. As an officer moving up the ranks Evans took on many assignments working as a patrol officer, part-time school resource officer, field training officer, traffic investigator, accident deconstructionist, patrol sergeant, neighborhood services sergeant, firearms instructor, lead emergency vehicle driving instructor, patrol lieutenant, watch commander, honor guard sergeant and lieutenant, and peer, support sergeant, and lieutenant.
He retired from the police force in January to run for the Colorado State House 48.
“Unfortunately, due to the ruling Democratic war on law enforcement, my officers and I were increasingly handicapped in our ability to care for the community,” said Evans. “I got tired of being powerless to actually help victims of crime.”
Evans also has worked closely with county and state emergency operations centers and partnered with planning, building, urban renewal and economic development departments and has managed several budgets of a million dollars or more.
If elected Evan’s first issues is crime. Evans says Colorado leads the nation in motor vehicle thefts and violent crimes are up in the last four years by 25%. Also, the rates of crimes solved are down by 10%.
“I’d work to undo poorly thought out, knee-jerk legislation from the ruling Democrats at the state capitol,” he said. “The Democrats are driving away good police officers by the hundreds, and the ones who remain have been handicapped by their anti-law enforcement, pro-crime policies,” said Evans.
He said citizens are being victimized by illicit drugs on the streets that are killing the youth. Businesses are losing billions of dollars with retail theft and crimes, he said.
“As a police lieutenant, I know how to fix the criminal justice system and stop criminals, while respecting civil liberties and building positive relationships with the community,” said Evans.
Evans thinks is an excellent idea that co-responders help police on calls with people that have a mental illness.
“A properly trained police officer is still the best resource to de-escalate dangerous situations including those involving mental health issues,” said Evans. “Co-responders are invaluable in their ability to work with law enforcement to provide long-term resources to repeat police clients who suffer from mental health issues,” said Evans.
Evan’s said a large percentage of mental health calls to the police are people who have refused treatments or sought help to manage their mental health disorders.
“Unfortunately, this dynamic means co-responders are dealing with some of the hardest cases in existence. Consequently, co-responders often burn out after six to twelve months,” said Evans. “Having worked extensively with co-responders, I know challenges to overcome in order to create and implement programs that deliver safe and efficient mental health resources to our communities.”
Evans agrees that all police should wear body cameras if used properly, to protect police officers from liability and build community trust.
“I personally loved my camera. When questions arose, it provided solid evidence I did my job legally, morally, and ethically. As always, the challenge comes in effectively implementing such a program,” said Evans.
Evans said it’s important to understand the capabilities and limitations of body cameras. Also, develop legal standards that can enhance the effectiveness of the body camera program or remove them.
“Unfortunately, radical leftist state legislation detracts from the effectiveness of body camera programs and greatly hinders the competent deployment of these tools,” Evans said.
“I would work to ensure reasonable legal standards regarding the use of body cameras are implemented so police and citizens alike can be assured of safe, transparent, and effective police operations,”
Evans, says rural Americans have a hard time retaining police officers due to lack of training, lower pay, and less of a high call volume. It’s also a better situation for a seasoned officer to transfer to a busier department from a rural agency.
“I would work to increase funding for rural agencies so they compensate officers better, and able to attract experienced officers who have reached a point in their career where they still want to serve, but want less “excitement” and stress,” Evans said. “Additionally, I would work to increase the availability of training for line, supervisory, and command level officers.”
Evan’s said Colorado’s economy is behind, especially in Weld and Adams Counties which is the leader in the production of energy and agricultural products.
“Unfortunately, the energy and agricultural sectors of the economy have been handicapped by the ruling of the ‘left’ at the state capitol and their attacks on oil and gas, farmers, ranchers, and rural Colorado. As a result, productivity in the region has declined, over 50% in some cases. This is a tragedy,” said Evans.
Evans has the answer is producing environmentally conscious energy and agricultural products. That lowers fuel costs and in turn, lowers the cost to produce and transport food as well as other goods. This results in more products available on the shelves, and a lower cost to the consumer.
“Just the other day, I saw a sign in a Brighton King Soopers advertising locally grown produce from La Salle. Empowering this type of local economy is why I’m running. I will fight to make the State take the stranglehold off the energy and agricultural sectors of Colorado’s economy,” said Evans.
Evans says the extraction of oil and gas technology is the cleanest and the most efficient on the planet in the United States and if we are not producing on our soil, then we buy it from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Venezuela, and Russia.
“I traveled to countries that don’t have clean or efficient methods in place. The money they receive often ends up in hands of unfriendly to American interests,” said Evans.
Evans understands that some teachers are afraid to come back to teach. They don’t feel safe.
“Again, stress is cumulative. Teachers face many challenges in the classroom, from behavior issues to large class sizes to bureaucratic demands that take them away from teaching,” said Evans said.
He would work on reducing stressors, increasing educational options for teachers and parents to work together on an idea such as pandemic pods. He’d also increase funding for school supplies so a teacher should not have to buy supplies.
“This would allow teachers who are still concerned about large gatherings to remain in the education industry, and it would add an additional option as parents to choose what education best fits their kids,” Evans said. “Across Colorado, only 58% of funds allocated to education actually make it to the classroom. I would like to see at least 65% of education funds make it to the classroom.”
“My motivations for serving in the Army, as a police officer, and running for House District 48 are to uphold and defend the Constitution, and to protect all citizens’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”